Monday, July 1, 2013

A Few Goals that I Will Focus on this July

So today is July 1st. We've reached the second half of 2013. (Where am I in my goals? I will write about that soon...)

This morning after reading Leo Babauta's A Year of Living Without blog post I realized that I, too, can also do without a few things in my life yet still be happy and healthy. 

I really do not want sugar in my life anymore. I hate breaking down to the comfort of sweet stuff and then having tummy aches so I decided to go on the next 31 days SWEET-FREE! That's right, no cookies, cakes or sweets. No added or refined sugar. (From January 1-21, 2013, I went on a NO SWEETS adventure, which I successfully completed! By the 23rd, however, I decided to just have a couple of home-made cookies just to see how I felt-- and the craving for sugar came back!) This July, I will stay away from added sugar and will do my best to kick the habit for good! Notice that I am focusing on this month alone; however, I intend to continue sugar free in august again, but well see how it goes as my 32nd birthday is on August 18th. But I'll deal with that when I get there. ;)

This is my list of goal for this month:

For the body:
  • No sweets, no refined or added sugar.
  • No more soy milk. (I had soy milk with my oatmeal this morning--and came up with this goal by 1pm today so tomorrow I will not have any.)
For the mind: 
  • Read great stuff daily
  • Write at least 250 words daily
  • Follow my sleeping schedule and go to bed early ---> wake up early
  • Goal # 7: Be organized. Everything in it's place and a place for everything
  • Goal #8: Relentlessly focus in tasks that need my full attention



Friday, May 31, 2013

Thoughts on the Last Day of May 2013!

Since about 3 weeks ago I have been lifting heavier and doing one more set (for a total of 4) of exercises than what my program suggests.

For the past two weeks the joints in my arms, specifically my wrists and elbows have been hurting...Yes, OUCH, they're inflamed. I have iced them every day whenever I can so subside the pain.

Times like these are when I ask yourself, why am I hurting myself?! And I can only seem to answer that I have felt this way before and I've continued to train hard...then it goes away. I remind myself that feeling some pain is part of the process. Tearing up my muscles for a while (then eating right and enough coupled with sufficient sleep and a rest day or two) will require my muscles to get stronger-- and with patience and more hard work I will see results! 

Today, though it was the first day in a long while since I didn't feel much pain, thank God!I wanted to take today off, but Bret awaits me at the gym for our last workout of the week: LEGS!! My thoughts: How am I ever going to complete that workout??

My body wants to give in to inertia and just kick it at home instead. It's crazy, right now my body feels weak and tired, but my mind is telling me something else.... It tells me that lifting weights will only strengthen my character and body. The hardest part is doing something your body doesn't want to I'm going to do it! I know that once I put on my earphones and wear my lifting gloves I will be ready to go!

Tomorrow I have a full rest day waiting for me. Right now my inner warrior is ready to come out.



Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ten Tips for Wellness

A couple of night ago I condensed many health tips I give people into My Top 10 Wellness Tips (for the mind, body, heart and spirit):

10) Floss daily. Don't neglect your oral health; flossing your teeth and gums is very healthy!

9) Move, be active! Don’t sit for long periods of time.

8) Get sufficient sleep. Sleep helps your body to rejuvenate, re-energize and restore. 

Every one has different sleeping needs, but research suggests that adults should get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep a day. I aim for this amount and I focus on getting "quality" sleep. (I wear earplugs and a blindfold to bed every night.)
7) Drink lots of water! Hydration prevents and and relieves headaches, promotes digestion and has many more benefits.

6) Eat mostly plants: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts. “When eating plants focus on QUALITY not quantity.” 

Eat More Eat Less
Instead of "eating less" of the stuff on the red arrow, I would say to avoid them. Not only will these foods derail you from reaching your health and fitness goals, but I honestly feel that these will encourage any addictions of unhealthy foods, cause mood swings and irritability, and make you sicker more frequently than not consuming them at all. Stick to a whole foods, plant-based diet.

5) Question negative thoughts that pop into your head. Our own mind can be our worst enemy.
Don't believe your mind when it tells you something negative. Your mind can be your worst enemy or your best friend.

4) For happiness: enjoy getting sunshine (for vitamin D production), genuinely smile, and be kind to others.

 3) Cultivate self-love. Only you can truly love and accept yourself as you are.

2) Breathe and be here now; Be present.
This is your life, it's happening right now! Life is too short to sweat the small stuff, feel guilty about the past or stress/worry about the future.

1) Set the example of healthy living. Be the change. 
I try to live my life by this simple quote alone.



Monday, May 27, 2013

Our Gifts of Health and Fitness to My Mom and Dad

This Saturday Bret and I headed out to visit my parents' and say hello before they headed out to their Memorial Day weekend trip to Las Vegas!

Look what my mom gave me: a tortilladora I've been looking to buy a tortilladora (tortilla press) as Bret and I are ready to start making our own tortillas with Maseca!

Bret and I gave my mamí and papí a pair of 15 lbs. dumbbells (that Bret had in the closet for years!!) I told my mom that lifting weights will increase her bone density and help with her posture.

To start off, mamí was only able to carry one dumbell with both hands. That's fine, I know she'll work her way up!

Then, I asked my papí to carry them and he was able to lift them both!
 He was so proud of himself and so was I!

Yay! These weights will surely help him increase his muscle mass, bone density and balance and coordination!
He held them up for a while, there!

Shortly after having tried out the dumbbells, we asked them to come shopping with us-- and to bring their ID cards with them. Our plan was to take them to the City of Norwalk's recreation center to buy them both senior annual memberships to the gym!

 (The gifts were "belated" for my dad's birthday and Mother's Day!)

My parents waiting to give their ID cards to get their membership.

My mamí and papí were so excited, they asked me to take this picture of them! :)

I introduced my mom to the lat pull-down machine and showed her how to correctly do this exercise to strengthen her back.
Mamí totally loved this machine! She kept on doing it over and over, she loved the feeling in her back!

Wow, mamí is a natural, she has great form!!! She was focused and controlled her movements very well!

Papí laid his eyes on the low-pulley row and jumped on it and started working back, also!

I told him that next time he comes in he better wear his tennis shoes, LOL! (He was unprepared, he didn't know where we were taking him that afternoon.)

Bret squatting down to be at my parents' height, hehe. ;-) 
Bret paid for their gym memberships, thank you honey!

Can you tell how HAPPY and EXCITED my mom and dad are in the picture above?! I am confident that resistance/weight training will be so beneficial for them in many ways. They will have more energy, improve their body composition, have greater lung capacity, their hearts will be pumping more oxygenated blood to their brain improving over-all health and oh so much more... Also, they'll be joining in senior group classes and they'll get to socialize with others. I just know that in their golden years they get healthier and healthier. How exciting!

As my parents age, and as I age myself (and am more mature, hopefully) I realize how important the physical, mental, emotional/social and spiritual health of seniors is. I am truly blessed to have both my parents living and to share many wonderful moments with them. Un millón de gracias Dios mío/ a million thank yous, dear Creator. 



Sunday, May 19, 2013

Listening to My Body: My Episode While Training at the Gym

"One hour before hitting the weights I eat a balanced meal and (30-45 minutes later) for an energy boost, I only drink 2 cups of green/yerba maté tea. (I take no crazy workout supplements; I just try to get sufficient sleep, eat healthy and plant-strong, and get a small dose of caffeine from tea.)

This afternoon, however, I drank a little more than THREE cups of green/yerba maté tea super fast which got me very, very jittery within a few minutes. Once at the gym, I only was able to perform 2 leg exercises: squats and deadlifts (10 reps with 90 lbs. barbell) and I could no more...I suddenly began hyperventilating and got extremely dizzy. I held on to Bret because I thought I’d fall. I tried to breathe, focus and control myself, but I couldn't get back to normal. Bret was so worried and suggested we stop (he was afraid I’d get a seizure). I insisted I was alright and could finish the workout, I just needed 'a few minutes to rest.'

Five minutes later I began doing weighted lunges, but I felt that my brain wasn’t getting the oxygen it needed; I just couldn’t continue this set anymore. I knew that if I tried to continue I would just pass out. At that point, I decided to stop entirely. My health and safely came first than my ego telling me I had to finish today’s leg workout.
I am resting at home now; I can do nothing else. My mind is not quite there and I feel so weak (I can't even do a head/hand stand to get blood flow to my brain). I'm just going to take it easy, relax and ice my right elbow that is in pain right now. I leave you with one of my all-time favorite songs...This is exactly how I feel right now.



P.S. Live life intensely. Every day is a special gift. Love yourself. Be safe and take care of yourself. Do what you love, love what you do.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Every time I hear this beautiful song, "Woman" by John Lennon I think of my mother. It is exactly how I feel about her (and it says everything I want to tell her one day soon). Listen to it very closely. I dedicate this song to my mom and all the moms out there. Enjoy! 

 I'm getting ready to go to mass with my parents' today this morning. My mom loves it when I go to church with her!

Happy Sunday! 



Friday, May 10, 2013

¡Hoy 10 de mayo es dia de la madres en México!

Today, May 10th is mother's day in Mexico! 

Happy Mother's Day, mamí Linda! (Linda is her real name ;) I am infinitely thankful for giving me the gift of life and raising me, which is in my eyes, the biggest proof of love. Every day you teach me the meaning of unconditional love, patience, kindness, and compassion. You are an incredible woman, mom, I am so proud of you, A thousand thank yous for fightinf EVERY day of your life to give me and my siblings the best. I love you, mamacita 
Photo: íFeliz día de la madre, mamita Linda! Estoy infinitamente agradecida por haberme dado el regalo de la vida y por criarme: en mis ojos, lla mayor prueba de amor. Cada día que me enseña usted el significado del amor incondicional, la paciencia y la compasión. Usted es una mujer increíble, me siento tan orgullosa de llamarte mamá. Mil gracias por luchar TODOS los dias de tu vida para darlme a mi y a mis herman@s lo mejor. Te amo, mamacita.
íFeliz día de la madre, mamita Linda! (Así real mente se llama mi mamá, Linda ;) Estoy infinitamente agradecida por haberme dado el regalo de la vida y por criarme: en mis ojos, eso es la mayor prueba de amor. Cada día usted me enseña el significado del amor incondicional, la paciencia, la amabilidad y la compasión. Usted es una mujer increíble, me siento tan orgullosa de llamarte mamá. Mil gracias por luchar TODOS los dias de tu vida para darlme a mi y a mis herman@s lo mejor. íTe amo, mamacita chula!

Ever since I can remember since I was a little girl in Mexico, my mom has always gone to justice protests (against the PRI). She is not one to be complacent and always is ready to shows her support to good causes by being present! I don't think my mom realizes this, but she is an activist. I think that she is who I get it from. Together we make a great team! 
Photo: ¡Yo <3 a mi mamá, mi mejor amiga!
At the MLK Parade in South L.A. marching with our health care justice signs!
I admire my mom for not wearing any makeup, she has never liked it. That is why she has such beautiful and healthy skin. What good genes I have!  
Photo: Admiró mi mamá por que no se pone nada de maquillaje, nunca le ha gustado. Es por eso que tiene una piel tan hermosa y saludable. Que buenos genes los que tengo! ;)

I admire my mom for not wearing any makeup, she has never liked it. That is why she has such beautiful and healthy skin. What good genes I have! ;)
Admiró mi mamá por que no se pone nada de maquillaje, nunca le ha gustado. Es por eso que tiene una piel tan hermosa y saludable. Que buenos genes los que tengo!

My mom giving me her blessing at my wedding. With herlove, friendship and sacrifices, my mom prepared me my entire life for this amazing moment.
Mi madre preciosa dandome la bendición en mi boda. Con su amor, amistad, y sacrificios, mi mamá me preparo toda una vida hasta llegar a este momento.

My mom is a warrior; she has worked incredible hard all her life for all her six kids and her husband, my dad. My mom-- both my parents-- have through some incredible journeys and has traveled thousands of miles by bus and on foot to give me and my siblings a better life.

 I am blessed to have my mom with me. Thank you Lord for this blessing. I am indebted to my mom for letting me be who I am and for inspiring me to be like her. I realize that I still have so much to learn from my mom, every day. 

Mother's Day is every day! The day is always the right day to treat mom and shower her with love (meaningful actions) and not just words. 

Photo: ¡Feliz día de las madrecitas! ¡Todos los días es día de la madre! <3



 I love the picture below! Flowers are beautiful, but free...I' rather have a revolution of people fighting for justuce!

I am not a mommy yet, but one day I'll be able to say this:

Photo: "Soy tan astuta que hago personas." 

Si, TODOS los dias son el dia de la madre! <3 (Todavia yo no soy mamá, pero felicidades a todas la que si son, las admiro!)

Yes, again: Mother's Day is every day! (I'm not a mommy yet, but congratulations to those who are, I admire you!) 

Happy Mother's Day!  íFeliz día de las madres!



Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Answers to 11 Random Questions About Me

Today I decided to answer 11 random questions about me!

What was your favorite food when you were a child? Gosh, I don't remember...I was not the kind of kid who would ate junk food. Come to think of it, I always ate at home what my parents fed me. :)  I lived in Mexico City until I was 7.95 years old and my favorite food there was...probably fruit. We didn't have a lot in Mexico, so junk food WAS NOT available nor accessible. When I arrived in L.A. (within 10 days I turned 8 years old), the first thing I ever tried was WHOLE MILK! It was the tastiest, most delicious thing my little sister Laura and I had ever had in our lives! (Today I would not put that in my mouth again!) I remember asking our mom for "¡Más, más por favor!" (More please!). I used to love whole milk and Kix cereal!

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod? Wow, I don't know...I usually listen to the same music over and over, ha! I listen to my iPod only when I work out, so for about 1 hour 5-6 days a week. (I limit the amount of time wearing earphones/music in order to preserve my hearing til old age). I get so pumped when I listen to Rage Against the Machine, Led Zeppelin, U2, The Beatles, most recently Aerosmith or any classic or alternative rock band.

What is one of your favorite quotes? I have tons of favorite quotes, but my all time favorite and one and that I try to live by each day is: "Be the change you wish to see in the world" by Mahatma Ghandi.

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? Indoor- pumping iron in the gym! For the past 4 months my husband and I have been training together and it's great! Outdoor- hiking or walking in the beach sand with my husband; I also enjoy hiking and camping out with my husband and family in a National Park.

What chore do you absolutely hate doing? I don't mind cleaning because I like organization, so I try to stay tidy-- but I can also get really messy. I really hate washing the dishes....My husband and I agreed he'll wash the dishes and I'll do laundry. :)

What is your favorite form of exercise? Form of exercise: Weight training.I enjoy all kinds of exercise-- I love moving my body, but I get the most out of training with weights. I love the feeling of pushing myself and how it weights have transformed by body to be fit. I feel weights literally challenge my mind to the tiniest little muscle and tendon in my body.

What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
Any time of the day is my favorite. I am working on being more mindful and just living in the present at any moment, I try to make the most out of it. It's a hard thing to do (mindfulness) but it's so amazing to be in the present and regret the past or stress about the future. 

What’s your least favorite mode of transportation? I guess traveling long distances (hours) in a bus because I will most likely need to use the bathroom since I drink a lot of water!

What is your favorite body part? I have come to appreciate and love who I am; love every part of my body, inside and out. 

What sound do you love? I love the sound of my husbands sexy voice. ;) I love the sound of children laughing. I also love all sounds of nature, the wind blowing, the rain falling and the sound of birds. I wish I could say, "the sound of wild animals," but I've never seen them in real life other than at the zoo and I haven't been to a zoo in years. I would probably feel too sad to see them locked up :( OH!! I just remembered when I was in the jungle in Chiapas, Mexico I heard some amazing, amazing sounds of black monkeys! I never actually saw them though, just heard them and it was so wonderful! I have never heard sounds that unique and amazing!

Love, joy, peace and health,


Monday, May 6, 2013

Check Out My Plant-Powered Lunch Today!

I just realized that I had a huge salad for lunch today! Here it is:

2 (or 3!) cups of green- and red-leaf lettuce, grilled polenta with onions and artichokes (canned); I also had a side of a grilled tomato and semi-steamed broccoli seasoned with garlic and herbs. I also added some balsamic vinegar on top

Here is nother nutritious meal that you can make quickly: Mole Poblano Rice and Bean Bowl!!
Step 1: In a bowl add cooked brown rice and (canned- was too lazy to make from scratch) black beans.
Step 2: Add warm, grilled and seasoned colorful bell peppers, asparagus, kale, tomatoes and onions (I already had these as left overs from the night before.) I couldn't help myself and I began to stir everything together!
Step 3: I heated up my mom's mole poblano and added to the bean and rice with veggies bowl. I topped it with baby avocado slices and it was ready to be devoured!

My parents got back from Mexico 2 weeks ago and my mom brought Bret and I candy from Izúcar de Matamoros, Puebla Mexico! 

We love to eat Mexican candy because it was intended to be candy from REAL CANE SUGAR and not junk like what is considered "candy" in the U.S. (with all that high fructose corn syrup)!

Camotes (sweet potato/yam candies) in different flavors; Jamoncillo (Powdered pumpkin seeds with REAL cane sugar) is in the top right, this one is SO GOOD!

Duxtitlan is the brand, but the candy, Alegria, is made from pure amaranth!!! (It also has peanuts and raisins covered in pure REAL cane sugar!) Amaranth is a super-food, also known as a pseudo-grain because it is very high in protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber and essential vitamins and minerals.

After being fueled by my huge lunch, I had my 2 cups of green tea and yerba mate and now I'm ready to meet Bret at the gym to work back and biceps! 

Happy beginning of the week, happy Monday!